Resources for assistance during the coronavirus outbreak

Coronavirus: 6 steps you can take to prevent it

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - If you are looking for food, work, or other assistance during the coronavirus pandemic, check out the resources below:

FOOD ASSISTANCE:

  • The Montgomery Area Food Bank has a way for residents to easily find food pantries and assistance. Residents can go to this website, put in their zip code and find the nearest food pantry locations. Information changes daily so be sure to call the pantry BEFORE showing up.
  • The City of Montgomery has also established a food access hub offering an interactive map that lists providers offering free meals to students and others in need.
  • Little Free pantry in Opelika is also providing non-perishable food items and hygiene products during the outbreak. The pantry is open 24/7 and everything is free.

FREE MEALS FOR STUDENTS:

Several school systems also announced they would feed students while schools are closed. According to the Alabama State Department of Education, sites offering to-go breakfast and lunches can be found by visiting this website.

HOMEWORK HELP:

Homework Alabama is offering extended hours for those seeking tutoring assistance. The online program offers free tutoring and academic resources. You can get help from a live tutor in math, science, English, writing or social studies. You can access Homework Alabama at http://homeworkalabama.org/.

ELECTRIC BILL ASSISTANCE:

  • Alabama Power announced it would suspend late payment fees and disconnections of service due to non-payment amid the coronavirus pandemic. If you need more information of if you have difficulty paying your bill call 1-800-245-2244.
  • Central Alabama Electric Cooperative says customers having difficulty budgeting for their electric bill can contact Customer Service at 1-800-545-5735. CAEC has implemented new procedures, which will allow them to assist and support members with flexible payment options.
  • Dixie Electric is also asking customers having trouble paying for their bill to contact their office at 1-888-349-4322 to speak with a service representative. They can guide you to community resources for assistance and will discuss options available to you as a member.

UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE:

If you are unable to work due to COVID-19, you will be eligible to file for unemployment benefits. The Alabama Department of Labor says if you are affected in the following way by COVID-19, you can seek unemployment benefits:

  • Those who are quarantined by a medical professional or governmental agency
  • Those who are laid off or sent home without pay for an extended period by their employer due to COVID-19 concerns
  • Those who are diagnosed with COVID-19
  • Those who are caring for an immediate family member who is diagnosed with COVID-19

Workers can file for benefits online or by calling 1-866-234-5382. Online filing is encouraged.

SMALL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE:

Small businesses across Alabama negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic are eligible for assistance under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.

HELP FOR NONPROFITS:

The Central Alabama Community Foundation and River Region United Way are partnering together to help non-profits provide needs to the community during the coronavirus pandemic. Applications for the relief fund will open on April 1 and grants will begin being awarded on April 15. The grants will be limited to $2,500 per organization.

SUPPORTING LOCAL RESTAURANTS:

  • In Montgomery, a new website and mobile app are working together to support eateries around the area by creating a streamlined source to find restaurants that are open for take-out, curbside pick-up or delivery. Both the website and the app even allow you to add restaurants to the list.
  • Many restaurants are offering curbside delivery. To see if a restaurant you like is offering curbside, give them a call or visit their website.

According to the CDC, FDA, and USDA, there have been no reports at this time that suggest COVID-19 can be transmitted through food or food packaging. For more information, visit this link.

HOW TO GET TESTED/INFO:

  • ADPH has created a new testing hotline to provide information about available testing sites and hours of operation. Callers will be asked for their zip code to help locate the site nearest them. The number is 888-264-2256.
  • ADPH has also created a separate hotline for questions about COVID-19. The toll-free hotline is 800-270-7268. Telephone calls are answered from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. daily. The COVID-19 general information email address is covid19info@adph.state.al.us.
  • Montgomery has a text alert system to provide the latest information on the coronavirus. To register, text MGMSAFE to 888-777. You can also visit mgmready.com. This is for anyone living in Montgomery, Montgomery County or Pike Road.

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